On Adoption: Parenting as an Adoptee


There was never a doubt in my mind that someday I wanted to be a mom. I have always loved children and spent many years babysitting and working with children at church and summer camp. At 21, I married my husband and a few years later we knew we were ready to begin our family. It was when I was pregnant with my first daughter that I fully realized the gravity of what my mother experienced through her pregnancy and relinquishment of me. When I held my newborn daughter, it was the first time I had ever seen a person who was related to me by blood. People-especially in the adoption community-emphasize the importance of love over blood in creating a family. While certainly love is important, blood matters too and this moment was significant to me. As she grew she began to look like me, and I could see so much of myself in her little personality.

Now I have two children and another one on the way. I love my children with every part of my being. But it wasn’t until after I reunited with my mother that I realized I was missing an important piece-an understanding of the bond of mother and child. My children are very much bonded and attached to me…to the point where it often felt needy and overwhelming. I could not grasp it all-I had never felt this way about my adopted mother and so I didn’t understand the need my children had………until I met my birth mother. Suddenly, I understood this powerful bond, this need to communicate and be near her- much like my children acted towards me. I realized that I must not take this for granted in my children. So I snuggle them a little longer, listen carefully to the things they want to tell me, answer all their questions because I finally get it. And I don’t want to miss a thing. I know how quickly they will be grown and gone and I will never retrieve those moments again. Just like I can never retrieve the moments I missed with my mother.


On Adoption: The Lies They Told Me 

Since reuniting with my birthmom I’ve discovered several things about my story that were lies. Things the adoption agency got wrong. A few things like the time of my birth and the wrong ethnicities were put down on paper. They may seem like minor mistakes, but they matter.

Then there were two pretty substantial lies that altered me and my journey in significant ways. One damaged me to my core- the other led me straight to my mother.

The first lie was not in any official document but was told to me and written down in notes my adopted mother took when they received the call about me. She was told that my birth mom never held me nor wanted to see me. This was a very painful piece of my story. It seemed to fit with the unwanted child narrative adoptees become used to- but it still hurt. And even though my papers said my birth mom would like  contact when I became of age- I believe this lie made me quite frightened of being rejected- again. When I found my mother and she spoke of holding me, that she had a picture of us…..I couldn’t stop crying. What a relief it was to know that it was a lie- and how angry I became to know that others purposely made this part of my story.

The second lie I am actually grateful for because it made a huge difference in the search for my mother. Growing up I had one sheet of paper front and back that stated some basic information about my birth parents. Height, weight, eye color, ethnicity, hobbies etc. according to these papers- my only connection to them- it stated my birthmother was pursuing a career in the veterinary field and that she was involved in an animal science club at her college. When I began my search this was one of the better clues we pursued and I was able to acquire a picture with first and last names of all the people who were in that club the year I was born from the college of the town I was born in. With the combination of some other clues I quickly found out which women in the picture was my birthmother. Only she wasn’t. We soon discovered she was my aunt. My mother was never ever in that club- but because her sister was-it led me to her. Without that false information, that lie, my search would’ve taken much longer.

Adoptees deserve the truth about who they are and who and where they come from. Unfortunately, my story isn’t unique. Many adoptees discover false information, even wrong birth dates. I can’t understand how this information can be taken so lightly. These details matter. These details were all I had of my past-I memorized them-and they weren’t all true. It’s heart breaking and wrong.

Sometimes the truth hurts and sometimes the truth sets you free. Either way it’s truth-and that is all I want.

On Adoption: Why I #FliptheScript

Every month and every day seems to have some sort of meaning these days. Some to bring awareness and others just for fun. From National Ice Cream Day to Breast Cancer Awareness these days and months can become bothersome to us or provide a great opportunity for action. November happens to be National Adoption Awareness Month with an honorary statement by the President himself.  This month has historcially been filled with Adopted Parents and Agencies voices, so using the Lost Daughters Prompts for the month of November I hope to get some tweets and some writing in. I have been pretty silent lately, and as much as it scares me to dig in some more, I’m hoping I can find some more healing through it. 

So below are some of the reasons I #flipthescript:

I #flipthescript to connect with a community of fellow adoptees who get it.

I #flipthescript because saying out loud how  I feel about being adopted has its own healing effect.

I #flipthescript because for 31 years I was mostly silent about what was going inside and it deserves to be said.

I #flipthescript because I’ve been asked if the adoption community put negative thoughts about my adoption into my head. No, I have not been brainwashed, but I have been validated. 

I #flipthescript because a friend was able to let her adopted friend really share the hard stuff because of what she had learned from me. 

I #flipthescript because a professional counselor sent me a message asking for resources so she could better understand her adopted clients. 

I #flipthescript because when I speak out, others can gain courage to do the same. 

I #flipthescript because I want adoptive parents to understand that they must not be afraid of their child’s thoughts and feelings about their adoption. 

I #flipthescript because I want birth parents to understand that no matter the motives behind their decisons to not parent or their inability to make that choice, it hurts. 

I #flipthescript to help others understand the lack of rights adoptees face as they desire to know who they are. 

I #flipthescript to make change. 

I #flipthescript to make adoption better. 

I #flipthescript for me.